Betty and Marc go up against one another in an assistant-on-assistant cage match to get some kind of... nebulous reality-show prize like a hundred bucks or hellish year in an apartment with one of those people from Stylista, of the few that didn't end up in a mental hospital or whatever the eff goes on in that show, that isn't Megan or Kate or William, which is the sum total of worthwhile people on that fucking show, plus they get to hang out with Badgley (meh) Mischka (hot as fuck).
Meanwhile, Justin's (controversially Disneyesque) gay boyfriend, who doesn't know he's gay, gets a telegram from Everybody On Earth telling him how gay they are, delivered by his friends whose bangs are even gayer than his own. So he chills it with Justin for the time being, but really it's because ABC hates gay American men and women now. Which is stupid, because gay people are obviously just like real people but slightly awesomer, and you may think it was for other reasons but you'd be wrong, because even in 2008 we're mostly all kind of creeped out by gay people, which yes, makes us assholes, but is a lot easier to feel when they act like screaming infants denied their tit and completely forget what makes them strong. I'm serious, like, the last time I got enraged enough to protest about the actions of another state's legislature in a way that proved nothing and only ruined unrelated people's days so they would know how pissy I felt about something that didn't affect me or them in any way was like, the Louisiana Purchase in 1803! Those Cajun bitches!
Hilda "solves" this problem by taking him to In The Heights herself, thereby instantly turning Justin fifty times gayer than the already impressive previous gayness of him, not to mention continuing the cycle of "creeped out" vs. "creepier than actual sex weirdos" that has characterized the endlessly fascinating gay/straight relationship since whining was invented. Meanwhile, the actual tremendous part of being gay, where you kiss dudes, is ignored. Luckily, Hilda looks so fucking hot this season you don't even really think about how sad it is until it's too late to save Justin.
So while Daniel and Wili edge ever closer to destroying Connor and Molly's entire relationship, Betty and Marc play out this whole affirmative action thing that is simultaneously obtuse, abstruse, topical of the past, glossed over, and ... sort of perfectly correct. There's not Anita Hill, but we do get major Hillary, so there you go. Racism is a feminist issue, because once you hit like 1992 everything is.
Caucasian Homosexual Marc doesn't get into the program, and Mexican-American Callipygian Betty does, Marc goes to the unforgiveable place of how it's because she's fat or Mexican or some shit, Betty finds out he's unforgivably right, she gives up her Mexican place because white homos are simply unrepresented in the fashion industry and it's a motherfucking tradge, and then they both get in on a technicality because Daniel Meade wrote a letter or something. Because what trumps affirmative action is straight rich white dudes every fucking time, which is why they so often save the day. And yes, you're welcome!
Don't get me twisted: I want to be clear that I don't give a fuck, and as a gay white man from a family of rich white men, I have less than one RDA of opinion on this. So here's my take: take what you can fucking get and be compassionate when you can, because no matter what disadvantages or advantages or whatever you have, there are some bitches want to screw you, and you're always the bitch screwing somebody else, and our duty is to remember there's always a way we can all get out alive.
However. I am at a loss as to how an affirmative action story taking place in the world of fashion between a gay man who wears pearls and a 300-pound Latina who dresses like a circus clown's PTSD can actually have this fight. So you kind of have to fill in the blanks. Which, since both Cliff and Amanda are missing this week, you will have plenty of effing time to do.
Betty's got some decent clothes happening -- giant Minnie Mouse bow notwithstanding -- when Amanda summons her with a tiny handbell to the bathtub, where she's lounging in a mountain of delightful bubbles. One-room apartment + clawfoot tub + Amanda's total lack of boundaries = Hilarity. She explains that she got the bell for Halston, but he's a bad doggie and doesn't come when she rings it -- whereas Betty comes running. "You're a good dog!" Amanda says, tickling Betty's tummy with the loofah, and Betty puts her foot down in what are no doubt sensible shoes. She tries to clarify for Amanda that she is not her assistant -- while simultaneously advising her of her schedule for the day and picking up her random bras and panties strewn about the place -- and Amanda assures her she thinks of her more as a roommate... And a maid. She asks Betty to fetch her some coffee, and she replies that it's not her job...
Cut to Betty happily fetching coffee for Daniel, because that actually is her job. She has also jacked a hideous clown jacket and stupid red beret over her formerly cute outfit, because... Maybe she resents fashion as a synecdoche for hating her life, and thus seeks to wound it at any opportunity. Around the corner is Leo/Nick Pepper, that sleazy-sexiest assistant guy from Mode that she got into the dick-swinging fight with at the Renaissance Faire restaurant back when Henry and his sick body were still around. Turns out he left with Alexis and has since pulled a Ryan the Temp thanks to the leg up provided by YETI (the Young Editor's Training Initiative) and now has his own assistant. Betty seems to think the program is like Hogwarts for getting out of being an assistant, and he assures her that this is the case. Sparkly music of Betty's dreams, cloudy weird light in her eyes, and it's done. She informs Daniel that he'll be sponsoring her, and asks for a recommendation letter (<1 page), and he gets that "I am going to completely flake and it's going to be sad" face he gets when you count on him.
Wili spots Connor canoodling with darling Molly ("Gross!" she yells to herself, awesomely) and tries to run away, but gets caught talking to them gross couple. Wili calls her "coltish" what with her hair in a ponytail, and Molly tells her that she's got some kind of Native American coming to visit her school class, so Wili half-heartedly talks shit about her pathetic life for a second before pulling a total Girl World maneuver and inviting her to a future brunch together.